Should Convicted Sex Offenders Be Allowed To Use Social Media?
OKLAHOMA CITY - Should convicted sex offenders be allowed to use Facebook? The question is cropping up across the country. The proposal hasn't made it to the Sooner State yet, but similar ones have.
The bills boil down to two common arguments: Protecting the public by imposing stiff penalties on the convicted and former criminals defending their First Amendment rights.
Should those convicted of sex crimes be allowed to peruse the internet and get off the statewide list? It depends on who you ask.
"I paid my price! I paid my dues and you are still telling me I have to pay? Now you are saying that I have to pay for life?" said former OSU football star Denshio Cook.
Cook is outraged by any proposal to ban all sex offenders from using social media. Cook's lawyers say you can't paint all sexual offenders with the same brush.
"Why are we all of a sudden taking the first amendment of the constitution and throwing it in the trash? Why don't we say ‘Parents, supervise your children's use'?" said attorney, David Slane.
As father of three, Cook actually agrees. The 32 year old pleaded guilty to raping a 13-year-old girl when he was 18, but says she lied about her age and they had consensual sex. For that he gets what he calls ‘the modern day scarlet letter'.
The word ‘Sex Offender' is stamped on his license. He says when people see it, they assume the worst.
"They think a little girl in some pigtails and a jump rope was walking down the street, and I snatched her up in the car, and she was crying for mama the whole time, and I assaulted her, and that's not the case," Cook said.
Cook believes offenders should serve longer sentences, but once they're out they shouldn't be labeled for a life time.
"Why doesn't a murderer have a murderer on his license? The things I've gone through I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. And the things they are trying to do, I feel like they want to put us on an island and leave us," said Cook.
Cook never served time, but was given three years of probation since the girl didn't press charges. He has been on the registry for more than a decade, but wants his name off the list.
Judges in three states have ruled the proposal to ban sex offenders from using social media as unconstitutional.